World Dairy Expo: ARM & HAMMER share new Bacillus research results

New studies showed exciting improvements in dairy cow performance
calendar icon 7 November 2022
clock icon 3 minute read

Dr. Ben Saylor, Dairy Technical Services Manager with ARM & HAMMER, spoke to The Dairy Site’s Sarah Mikesell about newly released university and commercial research conducted using their Bacillus-based probiotic.

“For a long time, the primary objective with our Bacillus-based probiotic was to control pathogens within cows and prevent digestive disorders such as HBS and other digestive problems,” said Dr. Ben Saylor, Dairy Technical Services Manager with ARM & HAMMER. “We've known for a while that our Bacillus do a lot more than just inhibit Clostridium and prevent disorders like Hemorrhagic Bowel Syndrome (HBS). One of our primary questions was in herds that are not challenged by pathogens, what effect does our Bacillus-based product have on performance, and ultimately, the overall resilience of a dairy cow.”

Research results

A study conducted at Oklahoma State University as well as two commercial trials showed very exciting improvements in dairy cow performance. Specifically, the Oklahoma State trial showed that use of the Arm & Hammer Bacillus-based product increased butterfat from 4.0% to 4.4%, which increased energy-corrected milk production.

“What’s also really exciting is that we observed a moderate reduction in dry matter intake, indicating that the animals were more efficient and better able to make more energy-corrected milk from less feed,” said Dr. Saylor.

A trial at a commercial dairy in New York looked at health and immunity when using the Arm & Hammer Bacillus-based product. In addition to measuring the performance parameters, researchers also collected blood samples and looked specifically at two different markers - haptoglobin and lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP), which are very common markers of inflammation. In addition to seeing a performance advantage, the research also showed that animals using the Bacillus-based product had improved immune status, indicating lower concentrations of these two markers of inflammation.

The final trial was conducted at a commercial dairy in California during the summer, which often doesn’t bode well for field-based research because of the challenges associated with the heat.

“With supplementation of our Bacillus-based product, we saw improved performance, primarily by increasing the volume of it through the summer, and that performance enhancement was sustained which was very exciting to see,” he said.

Building a more resilient herd

“If you were to look at the most productive and successful dairy farms, they probably have many things in common. One of them is having herds that are the most resilient to stress and pressures,” said Dr. Saylor. “We know that there are a variety of different pressures that cows face day-in and day-out. Those animals that are more resilient and resistant to those external pressures and stressors tend to perform at a higher level. What research is showing us is that with our Bacillus-based probiotic, we're able to create more resilient animals that can withstand those external pressures, which ultimately leads to more consistent production and better profitability on the farm.”

Sarah Mikesell


Sarah Mikesell grew up on a five-generation family farming operation in Ohio, USA, where her family still farms. She feels extraordinarily lucky to get to do what she loves - write about livestock and crop agriculture. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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